GED Social Studies : Evaluating Evidence

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #12 : Text Analysis

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

Albania is a relatively small country in southeastern Europe; however, the people who live there believe their country should be much larger. They contend that the countries of Kosovo, Macedonia, and parts of Northern Greece all belong to the larger territory of Greater Albania. This suggests potentially destructive conflicts in the near future. After all, Serbia also claims Kosovo as part of it’s territory; Kosovo generally favors close relations with Albania, but believes itself to be an independent country; Macedonians think of themselves as closer to Greece than Albania, and Greeks certainly would resist any territorial incursions. Of course, this is not a part of the world unfamiliar with the convulsions of war. Perhaps the only saving grace is that the people of Albania consider themselves as averse to conquest. They generally believe they are a defensive nation, an opinion reinforced by history, concerned with protecting what they have and unwilling to take land from others.

The information in this passage supports which of the following conclusions?

Possible Answers:

Albania has fought defensive wars in the past.

None of these conclusions is supported by the passage.

The author is Albanian.

Serbia represents the biggest threat to Albanian autonomy.

Albania is likely to declare war on one of its neighbors.

Correct answer:

Albania has fought defensive wars in the past.

Explanation:

There is no evidence to support a conclusion that the author is Albanian. There is a great deal of information that suggests Albania is not likely to declare war on one of its neighbors—the author’s comments about the defensive mentality of the Albanian nation. Additionally the author does not suggest that any one country represents a bigger threat to Albanian autonomy than any other. The only conclusion that is supported in that Albania has fought defensive wars in the past. The author says “They generally believe they are a defensive nation, an opinion reinforced by history, concerned with protecting what they have and unwilling to take land from others.” If the opinion that Albania is a defensive nation is reinforced by history, then it is likely they have fought defensive wars in the past.

Example Question #14 : Question Types

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

Shays’ Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts, which many historians have claimed dramatically altered the direction of American political history. Shays’ Rebellion took place in the dying months of the Articles of Confederation and ended right as the Constitutional Convention was beginning. It was already clear to many of America’s leading political figures that the Articles of Confederation were too limited and too ineffective to be the primary governing document of a strong modern nation. Shays’ Rebellion only served to further highlight the need to place more power in the hands of the Federal government.

The national government was incapable of raising funds or militia forces to meet the threat of the uprising and was reliant on the good will of the various states. This situation troubled many of the Founding Fathers, George Washington in particular, who demanded that this situation be remedied in the United States Constitution to prevent such an uprising from happening again. Only Thomas Jefferson felt unthreatened by the events of Shays’ Rebellion—which might have been because he was in France on diplomatic work at the time. Jefferson argued that a little rebellion from time to time is healthy for a republic, famously commenting that the tree of liberty occasionally needs to be watered with the blood of tyrants.

How did Shays’ Rebellion alter the direction of the United States government?

Possible Answers:

It led to the centralizing of power.

It caused the American government to abolish the Articles of Confederation.

It led the government to revoke the right of free assembly.

It led to the death of George Washington.

It caused the American government to establish a strong armed forces.

Correct answer:

It led to the centralizing of power.

Explanation:

You might have been tempted to answer that it caused the American government to abolish the Articles of Confederation, but the author tells you that the government was likely going to do this anyway. What you are clearly told is that "Shays’ Rebellion only served to further highlight the need to place more power in the hands of the Federal government." Thus it led to the centralization of power.

Example Question #14 : Ged Social Studies

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

Shays’ Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts, which many historians have claimed dramatically altered the direction of American political history. Shays’ Rebellion took place in the dying months of the Articles of Confederation and ended right as the Constitutional Convention was beginning. It was already clear to many of America’s leading political figures that the Articles of Confederation were too limited and too ineffective to be the primary governing document of a strong modern nation. Shays’ Rebellion only served to further highlight the need to place more power in the hands of the Federal government.

The national government was incapable of raising funds or militia forces to meet the threat of the uprising and was reliant on the good will of the various states. This situation troubled many of the Founding Fathers, George Washington in particular, who demanded that this situation be remedied in the United States Constitution to prevent such an uprising from happening again. Only Thomas Jefferson felt unthreatened by the events of Shays’ Rebellion—which might have been because he was in France on diplomatic work at the time. Jefferson argued that a little rebellion from time to time is healthy for a republic, famously commenting that the tree of liberty occasionally needs to be watered with the blood of tyrants.

Which of these conclusions can be reached from the information in this passage?

Possible Answers:

The Articles of Confederation placed power primarily in the hands of the states.

George Washington was wary of a strong centralized government.

Thomas Jefferson spent much of his life in Europe.

Massachusetts was particularly prone to social uprisings in the Eighteenth Century.

The Constitutional Convention was under direct threat from the men involved in Shays’ Rebellion.

Correct answer:

The Articles of Confederation placed power primarily in the hands of the states.

Explanation:

It is pretty clear that from the information in this passage at least that George Washington was not that wary of a strong centralized government—given that he was calling for one. Additionally, just because Massachusetts has one social uprising does not mean you can conclude that it is particularly prone to suffering from them. Similarly, just because Jefferson is in France for a time does not mean he spent much of his life in Europe. Finally, there is no evidence to suggest the Constitutional Convention was under direct threat from the men involved in Shays’ Rebellion. The only thing you can reasonably determine is that the Articles of Confederation placed power primarily in the hands of the states. You can determine this because the author notes that "the national government was incapable of raising funds or militia forces to meet the threat of the uprising and was reliant on the good will of the various states."

Example Question #15 : Question Types

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, several disputes arose between the North and the South; although these disputes were generally resolved through compromise and concession, each disagreement seemed to entrench the divide between the two regions. Take, for example, the Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). The case centered around a former slave, Scott, who felt that, having been taken to a region where slavery was prohibited, he was now a free man. Abolitionists in the North, of course, agreed with him and took on his case as their own. The court ruling, however, shocked the abolitionists. The Supreme Court ruled that not only was Scott not a free man, but also, being a black man, that he was not an American citizen and therefore could not bring a case before the Court; furthermore, the court held that Congress could make no laws regarding the prohibition of slavery in territories acquired since the signing of the Constitution. The Chief Justice at the time, Roger Taney, had hoped this case was resolve the issue of slavery once and for all and prevent Civil War, but he was spectacularly wrong on both accounts. The ruling was met with outrage in the North and solidified the feeling that the North and the South were two separate nations, both ideologically and economically.

Based on the evidence in this passage abolitionists were most likely to __________

Possible Answers:

support the institution of slavery.

favor the promotion of peace and unity in the United States.

argue against the maintenance of the union.

live in the South.

favor an end to the institution of slavery.

Correct answer:

favor an end to the institution of slavery.

Explanation:

An abolitionist is someone who favors the end of a certain practice. During this period of American history, abolitionists favored an end to the institution of slavery. You can determine this from the evidence in this passage because you are told that  "The case centered around a former slave, Scott, who felt that, having been taken to a region where slavery was prohibited, he was now a free man. Abolitionists in the North, of course, agreed with him and took on his case as their own."

Example Question #16 : Ged Social Studies

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

Communism is an economic system where the government controls property and the means of production. Its primary intention is to promote economic equality and normalize the standard of living. In theory, a perfect communist system would result in no man having more or less than his neighbor and would involve everyone doing an equal amount of work for an equal incentive—the good of the collective whole. Yet, every time pure communism has been attempted on a large scale in human history it has resulted in widespread famine and poverty. Why might this be? Well, the simplest answer is human nature. The positive aspects—our competitive nature, our desire to better ourselves and our families lives—and the negative—our inability to work hard without incentive, our desire to manipulate one another—all combine to favor an economic system that is based on competition and individually-motivated reward.

According to the author the primary goal of Communism is to _________________.

Possible Answers:

ensure that government owns all property

strengthen the means of production

promote the common good of the collective whole

eliminate famine and poverty

provide for equal economic opportunity

Correct answer:

promote the common good of the collective whole

Explanation:

The primary goal of Communism, according to the author, is to promote the common good and economic equality of the collective whole. It is not intended to provide for equal economic opportunity, which is closer to the goal of pure Capitalism.

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